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  1. Default Hello. Newbie here. No questions just yet...

    Hi, thought I'd say hello as I'm sure I'll be tugging at everyone's shirt sleeves for help and advice ahead of next year's roadtrip.

    Just started looking at the forums, and there's bucket-loads of information in here, so no point in me asking questions just yet until I've browsed through it all. I've bored everyone at work now with my plans, so I'll inflict them on you too.

    My partner, Rachel, and I have now booked our tickets to America for our big trip in September 2010. We're in the UK, and it's been about 15 years or so since I was last in the USA.

    We're flying to LA, a day in Anaheim (managed to nag Rachel into allowing a day at Disney), then a couple of days in Los Angeles. Train from there to San Francisco. After a day's sightseeing there, we're getting the hire car. Then:
    1st night - Napa Valley
    2 - South Lake Tahoe
    3 - Sonoma (for an early start for Yosemite)
    4 - Mammoth Falls
    5 - Furnace Creek
    6 - Springdale (for Zion)
    7 - Rubys Inn (for Bryce Canyon)
    8 - Torrey (for Capitol Reef)
    9 - Somewhere between Torrey and Kayenta, the name of which escapes me
    10 - Kayenta (for Monument Valley)
    11 - Grand Canyon Village
    12 - Prescott

    Then a few days spending the rest of our money in Vegas. It's a bit of an unoriginal routing, I reckon, but I reckon it'll be a great trip.

    It will mean being on the road during Labor Day - never been in the US for that day, so not really sure whether anything will be open, or what happens on that day. From what I can see it seems to be mostly around American Football.

    So - the itinerary is pretty much sorted. I think the hotels we're going to be staying at will make us pretty good friends with Best Western hotels. Probably see most of you out there on the road.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default welcome

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think you have a nice start, but there are a couple things that I see that you might take a look at.

    Personally, I'd be renting your car in LA and driving up the coast. The train isn't a bad trip, but you'll miss out on a lot of the coast - especially the big sur section. I'd plan to spend 2 days making this drive.

    I'm also a little confused about your days 3/4. Sonoma is right outside of Napa, so I don't know why you'd do Napa, go to Tahoe, and then back to Sonoma. Also note that going from Tahoe to Yosemite back to Mammoth (I assume you mean Mammoth Lake) means you'll be crossing the Sierras twice (three times if you include your original drive to Tahoe).

    Labor Day means most banks, small businesses, gov't offices will be closed, however, most large stores, restaurants, and gas stations will still be open.

  3. Default

    Thanks for your reply.

    I'd thought about driving from LA to San Francisco, but was worried about driving around Los Angeles (it's been 15 years since driving an automatic on the other side of the road). I'll have another look at that bit.

    I meant Sonora rather than Sonoma just before Yosemite. It looked like there's so much to see around the Sierra's that going over it (via Twin Bridges), back again (via Lake Alpine), and over it a third time (via Yosemite) looked to be quite good fun.

    Do the roads and tourist areas tend to be rammed with visitors around Labor Day?

    Ta, David

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default getting around

    Personally, I think you'll find it a whole lot easier to be driving around LA than to try to navigate the massive area via public transit. I can understand the concern about getting used to driving on the right (although being in an automatic shouldn't be difficult, annoying perhaps, but not difficult), and LA's traffic reputation is well deserved, but there's just not many better options.

    Labor day will be busy. Generally its celebrated as the last chance to enjoy summer, and lots of people use it to take a long weekend vacation. Since most of the places you are talking about are popular areas that are easy reaches as a long weekend from SF, LA, or LV, you should expect to see lots of other people, and I'd plan on making reservations especially in areas like National Park.

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